THE West Kerry community of Brandon was bursting with pride as one of their own proudly carried the Irish flag at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
THE West Kerry community of Brandon was bursting with pride last Friday as one of their own proudly carried the Irish flag at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Alpine skier Conor Lyne, whose father John hails from Brandon, was the Irish team's flag bearer at the Parade of Nations held at the Olympic Stadium in Sochi which saw over 80 nations represented.
Making his Winter Olympics debut Conor - who is an mechanical engineering student at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, USA and who turns 21 later this month – will represent Ireland in two disciplines, Downhill Slalom and Giant Slalom and the entire Corca Dhuibhne community is behind his efforts.
Born in England, where his father John had travelled for work, Conor grew up in Utah in the United States when his parents moved when he was four. Conor's mother Anna is from Hospital, Co. Limerick.
Having spent many summers in Brandon in his youth, visiting his aunts Maire and Mairead and his many cousins, Conor continues to maintain close ties with West Kerry and been a frequent visitor in recent times during breaks from his training trips to Europe.
Conor, who is an Irish citizen and holds an Irish passport, represented Ireland at the last two Skiing World Championships - in Germany in 2011 and in Austria in 2013.
His brother, Seán, also represented Ireland last year at the European Youth Olympics in Romania.
For now, competing in Sochi occupies Conor's every waking thought but he is looking forward to a home-coming celebration in Brandon on his way back to the USA from Russia and he is sure to receive a warm welcome.